Poem: Misremembered Ages

craneseasonsdance

How can I claim to be natural?

I am artificiality itself – I am a spheroid

Dagger of craggy mass, stabbing itself

With synthesis. I might be a Buddhist –

But I am a British Buddhist – which makes of

Me an obsequious gallimaufry of unresolved

Humours, too confused to know

Competition

*

I try to make of myself an elven

King, whilst living the life of a Hogarthian

Grotesque – vice versa – shitting upon the

Rubric of an antiquated past;

Pretensions to being

A gentleman

*

And, I am gentle. With all my

Wrathful rage and fury, I could

Be a murderous sailor. But, instead

I sit quietly, sipping vodka and cointreau,

On a sofa so comfy, it might as well

Be a strait jacket

II.

Thus I am artificial:

I am artificial as a flower

Fatted on sodium lighting,

Flinching every time it sees

The sun

*

And I haven’t seen the sun

For a long while – all is streaky

Non-clarity here. Ignorance clothes

Itself in morbid mists; causes all gods

To revert to titans, so appalled by

Their own divinity that they must

Degrade themselves as much as possible

To make sense of anything

At all

III.

“Do you know who I am?” she cried,

“I am the ivy that chokes the tower – I am

The prickle of the holly – I am the ruination of

Misremembered ages your heart romanticizes!”

*

We looked at her, and our hearts beat louder

Than our pricks: for that gracious green lady

Was stood among us – the tailoress of our land –

Who, with heaving breast, narrates the forbidding

Thunder of every falling

Acorn

*

“King Oak!” she called out, turning to

He. “Uproot yourself from your

Nightmarish quiescence, and address

Your people! They are benighted

By Technology’s stifled screams,

And whimper under refrigerated

Blankets that weep with need and

Greed.”

*

Thus, The King of oaks ejected

Himself, and let loose a gallows

From every bough, promising to

Squeeze shut the lungs of anyone

Who dared disagree

IV.

Is this the memory of our

Land? Is that the visionary

Eternal ‘season of mists’ that

Bewails itself on a birdless

Harbour, fluttering and flushing

With birds?

*

Bristol – I was for you.

But Mercury had other ideas.

I meant to pursue the memory of

Thomas Chatterton – but reality was

Too busy forging the documents through

Which it hoped to falsify

My existence

V.

And, artificial as I

Am, I still exist: I exist

As a microchip in the cell

Of a harpsichord, pounding

Out the recitative of

Ages

*

I have programmed myself

This way – I have programmed

Myself to be beautiful and utterly

Ridiculous. I know a great

Deal of people love me, readily calling

Me ‘Wise One’ and ‘Beautiful Soul.’ And,

Yet still I abominate this wisdom, and

Am humiliated by that beauty, I’m so

Terrified to lose

*

John Donne did not die – his

Uncertainties are my uncertainties –

Like him, I can reason and misreason

My way out of or into any plausible or

Implausible outcome – a modified T. S.

Eliot, sipping tea from a lavatory

Basin

VI.

For, aren’t we all in a

Wasteland? Aren’t we all

Looking over that un-narrow

Gulch that separates us from the happiness

Of Ages?

*

I dreamed of that wasteland –

Wild lions skirted its outlines;

A landscape so demented,

Verdure knew it not

*

I saw the kissing chasm

I longed to cross it

But saw no crossing

*

Drawing closer, its crossing

Became apparent – hidden in

The landscape, it was immensely

Accessible, for those that drew

Close enough

VII.

And, my love! My sweet,

Jurisdictional love! Maybe

Once you’ve experienced the

Pain of what it is to be persistently

In pain, you will forgive me for my

Excesses, for it is only out of concern

For your futurity that I suffer

So

VIII.

I screamed

I punched the door

I punched the floor

What was I trying to

Do? To punch my way

Out of the torso of a body

That had enwombed me for

Quite long enough?

*

How furious the child must

Be in its womb! And how repentant

It is once it’s left!

IX.

To the Australian Aborigines,

It was the husband who had

Visions of his child first

*

Well, today, whilst walking

In a copse, conversing with a

Trio of messengers, disguised as

Alder trees, a child came to me

In a vision – I was its father –

Would I accept it?

*

Rivulets of fire surged up

My spine, and out of my eyes –

I thought I was growing the wings

Of an angel; but in truth the wings of

A devil, a dragon, a gorgon,

A titan

*

“I course I’ll accept you – my

Son – my daughter!” I cried out

To the ravens of the wood. “Of course

I will have you, my sweet babe!” I called

Out to The White Goddess whose skin is

Like the silver of snow. “Of course I will

Have you, my only one! Ensconce yourself

In the predestined womb of my bride, and

I will be walking, wandering, waiting –

Walking,

Wandering,

Waiting.”

*

I have never wanted children –

But, for you, there is no principle;

No favour or preference I would

Not violate. Like the Mad King who

Sacks his whole kingdom to convert it to

The religion of his bride; I would sack the

Ancestral Kingdom of my Ideals, so you

Could sleep peaceful in its ruins. Wrapped

Up in a silver blanket of aspen leaves, we will

Sleep peaceful through the fires and thunders;

Through the spoliation of maddened sailors,

Skinning citizens with fingers like the hard beaks

Of crows

X.

After that, the child left.

I went home, to try and groom

Myself into a gentleman, amidst

The incendiary of inflammation’s

Fury

*

To the future!

To the future!

A toast to the future!

On the back of Kundalini’s

Agonies, I slither into

The Future out of

Misremembered

Age

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